There are all multiple ways to measure if the startup tech market is booming: IPOs, venture capital, inflated valuations in M&A deals. But Avvo, the Seattle online directory of lawyers, has been tracking another interesting metric: startup-related questions in its legal Q&A forum.
Pageviews at Avvo for startup-related terms — such as “non-compete agreement” and “intellectual property” — from Silicon Valley users of the site have grown by more than 3,000 percent over the past six months.
Now, whether that’s the best measure of a bubble or not is certainly open to debate. But it may signal that newbie entrepreneurs are seeking help in creating startup companies.
Avvo is tracking pageview growth in other tech hotbeds too, including Seattle (72 percent increase) and New York (78 percent increase). Austin, meanwhile, reported a whopping 871 percent growth rate in startup related terms.
“While there are differing industry opinions on a current tech bubble, we are seeing a major spike in activity in the classic startup markets,” said Mark Britton, founder and CEO of Avvo. “The jump in Silicon Valley is staggering. If it’s not a bubble, it is at least the most activity we have seen out of the Valley since our launch in 2007.”
As the map above shows, not every market is showing growth in startup chatter. Boston, a traditional technology hotspot, experienced a decline as did Chicago where Groupon is based.